Moving to A Higher Plane: An Open Letter to the Racial Realist
I apologize for disparaging you on my blog. As you know, I felt and a part of me is struggling with continuing to feel justified due to the things you said about me on yours. But I’m at least willing to try to be sorry.
Sadly, as black people, we have been placed at odds, “Willie Lynched,”divided and conquered for 400 years and counting. The methods used have varied: light skin versus dark skin, house nigger versus field nigger, bougie versus blue collar, nationalist versus integrationist, black talking versus white talking, black oriented versus white oriented, straight versus gay – and on and on.
If we as black people continue to merely step into the shoes produced for us in the global white racist sweatshop, without careful reflection (or checking the factory or the fit), then we will continue to play the game the white man wants us to play. We will continue to play Pinnochio to HIS Gepetto.
I know that there is comfort derived from hate, contempt, condemnation, “I’m blacker than thou” and “us versus them” attitudes. Its all about self-control, trying to manage that tender place within us that the world constantly stomps on. I know; I’ve been there/will continue on some level to be there; I’ve received the cheap high that a snort or two from that bottle brings. But its a short-term upper with a low-bottom; the price is a hangover rooted in fear, cowardice and a misplaced bitterness. I only think I’m projecting it outward, but in reality, its chewing my insides up, even as I feel taller/better/blacker than my ‘inferiors.’
I reacted to your post about me and lashed out and used a nasty term. That was wrong and I apologize. I’m human and I often react to the surface pin prick before looking at the deeper meaning of things. Part of that deeper meaning is that we are all dislocated people living in the black diaspora, under the conditions of racism/white supremacy, half-breeds, quadroons, octaroons, niggas.
This disease of R/WS is a chameleon – it has common features and yet it has local characteristics born of the soil it was planted on. Brazillian racism is different from that which formed in the US; Haiti suffered indignities that perhaps African people in Grenada or Barbados, London or Liverpool did not. We cannot superimpose our local experience onto others living far different lives and confronting markedly different conditions.
What must it be like to be black AND gay and how do racism and homophobia converge and diverge? I don’t really know, but its worth knowing, isn’t it?
Another feature of the disease of racism/white supremacy is the creation of hard and fast categories for people to facilitate the racist agenda. It was important to know who a nigga was back in the day because nigga meant ‘property’ and ‘product.’ (It still means that, but in a much more sophisticated way) Who was and wasn’t a nigga determined whether you slept in the bowels of the slaveship, or up on the deck. The white man kept it crudely simple in order to maximize profit.
I submit that we can’t afford, as Audre Lord has said, “to use the Master’s tools to dismantle his house.”
We have to be smarter, wiser, more deliberate, more intentional, as our multiplicity of colors, experiences, geographic locations and intersections are incredibly complex. The fact that the white man’s sperm flows through so many of us in so many different proportions, the fact that we are no longer truly African but a new race of people – means that much more thought and care is necessary in attempting to comprehend, strategize and enact solutions to our conditions.
We don’t know who we are. By that I mean, we have yet to satisfactorily define who we are as a people (in the 21st Century), through crafting a definition that incorporates ALL of us. I have asked you to put forth a definition of blackness or pro-blackness. Silence. Its not enough to assert, or imply that, “those who know don’t (or won’t) say.” That is truly treating blackness as an exclusive clique that only the “in-crowd” knows about or can enter. Its also the fruit of that “blue-blooded” exclusionary mentality initially found on the plantation, among the high-yella-handkerchief-heads who did the “One UP/one down Watusi” with their black brothers and sisters.
A transparent discussion – within and among our people – of who and what we are, the intersections of various other “Isms and Schizms,” how do we create the ‘beloved black community,’ (and all the other shit we need to deal with) is a requirement for elevating this conversation and perhaps pointing us toward liberation.
We can delete unpleasant posts or threads from our blogs; however, the mind and spirit do not delete so easily. As human beings we must confront our demons or they will be our masters. Running from the racist-virus injected into our bloodstream contributes to our horrific mortality in every country on the Planet. We must heal ourselves as individuals, availing ourselves of all of the services dedicated to self-discovery and healing and then we must heal our communities and the planet. We are the only ones who can, and I believe the focused, concentrated brilliance of black people on liberation will mean liberation for all.
So, here is my olive branch to the Racial Realist and anyone who’ve I’ve ripped or slandered. Let’s get together and talk it out.